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Chanuka And Self-Sacrifice
In The Days of Chanuka, 5721 [1960]

To the Participants at the Annual Celebration "Achei Temimim," Massachusetts

Chanuka recalls the critical period in Jewish history when a ruthless and overpowering enemy made an attempt to suppress G-d's Torah and mitzvot and the Jewish way of life. But there was a handful of Jews, faithful to the Torah and mitzvot to the point of real self-sacrifice, who turned the tide and rekindled the true faith and the observance of Torah and mitzvot. Thus, with G-d's help, the few were victorious over the many, and the physically weak over the strong, bringing a great and everlasting salvation for our people.

The message of Chanuka is especially important for us here and now. We are fortunate to live here in a country where there is freedom of worship. Jews do not have to risk their lives to study the Torah and observe its sacred commandments. Nevertheless, the number of the faithful is, sad to say, by no means adequate; Jewish children attending a Yeshiva and receiving a full and kosher education are still not in the majority. But these few are destined to rekindle the light of the Torah and mitzvot in the hearts and homes of many.

However, in order to accomplish this task, a spirit of dedication and selflessness is necessary, something of the Mesirat Nefesh [self- sacrifice] of the Hasmoneans "of those days at this time."

I hope and pray that each and every one of you will rededicate yourselves to the sacred cause of spreading the light of Torah and mitzvot, upon which our very life and existence depends. One of the activities in this direction is to make every effort to maintain and enlarge the capacity of the Lubavitcher Yeshiva "Achei Temimim" in your community.

I trust, moreover, that you will do so in an ever-growing measure, as symbolized by the candles of Chanuka which we light each day of Chanuka in steadily growing numbers.

May G-d bless you all and send you a growing measure of light and happiness into your personal lives and into your homes and families, materially and spiritually.

 

 


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